© 2017

Conceptual Shape Optimization of Entry Vehicles

Applied to Capsules and Winged Fuselage Vehicles

  • The joint discussion of the relevant aspects of flight dynamics, aerothermodynamics, shape modelling and optimization in a single comprehensive text provides a crucially valuable reference for conceptual design of entry vehicles

  • The book follows a general and modular approach that allows the contents to be easily extrapolated to related fields

  • A detailed worked-out example of the shape generation provides excellent information to quickly implement the described algorithms


Part of the Springer Aerospace Technology book series (SAT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Dominic Dirkx, Erwin Mooij
    Pages 1-17
  3. Dominic Dirkx, Erwin Mooij
    Pages 19-39
  4. Dominic Dirkx, Erwin Mooij
    Pages 41-71
  5. Dominic Dirkx, Erwin Mooij
    Pages 73-85
  6. Dominic Dirkx, Erwin Mooij
    Pages 87-111
  7. Dominic Dirkx, Erwin Mooij
    Pages 113-127
  8. Dominic Dirkx, Erwin Mooij
    Pages 129-149
  9. Dominic Dirkx, Erwin Mooij
    Pages 151-179
  10. Dominic Dirkx, Erwin Mooij
    Pages 181-224
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 225-280

About this book


This book covers the parameterization of entry capsules, including Apollo capsules and planetary probes, and winged entry vehicles such as the Space Shuttle and lifting bodies. The aerodynamic modelling is based on a variety of panel methods that take shadowing into account, and it has been validated with flight and wind tunnel data of Apollo and the Space Shuttle. The shape optimization is combined with constrained trajectory analysis, and the multi-objective approach provides the engineer with a Pareto front of optimal shapes.

The method detailed in Conceptual Shape Optimization of Entry Vehicles is straightforward, and the output gives the engineer insight in the effect of shape variations on trajectory performance. All applied models and algorithms used are explained in detail, allowing for reconstructing the design tool to the researcher’s requirements.

Conceptual Shape Optimization of Entry Vehicles will be of interest to both researchers and graduate students in the field of aerospace engineering, and to practitioners within the aerospace industry.


Atmospheric entry Multi-objective shape optimization Local-inclination methods Hypersonic aerothermodynamics Shape parametrization

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

About the authors

Dominic Dirkx works as a research associate in the field of analysis and simulation of planetary mission tracking. He has extensive experience on the design and implementation of simulation software for aerospace mission dynamics and design. His research interests include re-entry dynamics, trajectory optimization, interplanetary tracking, relativistic geodesy and modular simulation software design. He has worked on the shape optimization of entry vehicles, the conceptual design of planetary missions and the analysis of interplanetary laser ranging as a novel method of orbit determination for planetary missions.

Erwin Mooij works as an assistant professor in the field of launch and re-entry systems, amongst others teaching such course to first-year MSc students. His research interests include re-entry systems, trajectory optimization, guidance and control system design, and design methods and data-analysis techniques. Over the years he has worked on several re-entry-system projects, aimed at finding the best shape for doing hypersonic flight experiments. Before coming to work for Delft University of Technology, he worked for Dutch Space (currently: Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands). His tasks included, amongst others, system engineering for the thermal-protection system of the EXPERT entry vehicle (ESA project), as well as the shape-optimization of an earlier configuration of EXPERT.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Conceptual Shape Optimization of Entry Vehicles
  • Book Subtitle Applied to Capsules and Winged Fuselage Vehicles
  • Authors Dominic Dirkx
    Erwin Mooij
  • Series Title Springer Aerospace Technology
  • Series Abbreviated Title Springer Aerospace Techn.
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Engineering Engineering (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-46054-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-83430-6
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-46055-0
  • Series ISSN 1869-1730
  • Series E-ISSN 1869-1749
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 280
  • Number of Illustrations 48 b/w illustrations, 130 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Aerospace Technology and Astronautics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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